Open day experience at Puckapunyal

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Puckapunyal was a sea of orange vests earlier this month as more than 1300 school students from across Victoria attended an open day at the military area.

Hosted as part of the Defence Work Experience Program, the day was an opportunity for students from years seven to 12 to experience and learn about military equipment while taking a glimpse into the lives of military personnel.

The students got up close with Army vehicles and equipment, including Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, Australian light armoured vehicles, artillery, tanks, G-Wagons, as well as military working dogs.

Corporal Nicholas Jagger introduces his military working dog to Defence Work Experience Program participants Aidan Young, of Nathalia Secondary College, and Roaa Nashashibi, of Sirius College in Shepparton. ​

Lieutenant Colonel James McGann said the response from students was overwhelmingly positive.

“Across the day, I was impressed with the positive attitudes of the students and their willingness to learn,” he said.

“This was a real hands-on experience, and one I hope they remember for a long time to come.”

Hazel Glen College student Sarra Sadiq is shown a thermal imaging system by Sergeant Christopher Lang. ​

Defence Work Experience Program Victoria manager Navi Kaur said the students’ enthusiasm was impressive.

“The personnel were so engaged and happy to talk to the students, and help them understand what life in the military is like,” she said.

“The feedback we received from the schools involved was so positive.”

The Defence Work Experience Program is designed to expose students to corps, trades and daily routines they would expect should they pursue a career in the Australian Defence Force.